Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Goings Up

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Goings Up

Article excerpt

As a music teacher, Dr. Ramon Goings began noticing a disturbing trend among the students that he was teaching.

"More and more Black boys who looked like me were being pushed into special education," says Goings, who eventually went back to school and then became certified to become teach special education.

Increasingly frustrated and concerned by this dilemma, Goings encountered barriers from administrators who, he says, often placed Black boys into special education and kept them there because of funding purposes.

Initially, Goings, who held teaching positions in several urban school districts including Baltimore city, had plans of becoming a school principal. But his interest in research forced him to change his career trajectory and led him to pursue a doctoral degree in educational leadership at Morgan State University.

"I liked the thought of becoming a professor," says Goings, who graduated in 2008 from Lynchburg College with a bachelor's in music education.

This fall, Goings began a tenure-track teaching position as an assistant professor of educational leadership at Loyola University Maryland. Even as a doctoral student at Morgan, though, he was catching the attention of well-known scholars, such as Dr. Donna Ford of Vanderbilt University, for his groundbreaking research on Black males.

"Dr. Ramon Goings is not only an upcoming scholar and leader, he also is a mentor in the early stage of his career," says Ford. "This is rare and he should be replicated."

Goings credits Ford for mentoring and grooming him on how to become a professor and excel within the academy. And by the summer of 2014, while he was deeply engaged in writing his dissertation, he says that he started to think of himself as a scholar.

Goings' pathway to the professoriate was no easy journey. Along the way, he encountered some bumps. Growing up in Stamford, Connecticut, his mother switched him from public to private school during the seventh grade after he was "falling in the wrong crowd."

That switched changed his outlook on education and he became determined more than ever to receive an advanced degree.

"I developed a fire in my belly to complete my education," he says, adding that he ultimately settled on Morgan State University to pursue his doctoral studies because he wanted a Black college experience. …

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